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Remote Sensing and GIS as Counterterrorism Tools in the Afghanistan War: Reality, Plus the Results of Media Hyperbole

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... Regarding the application of GIS in the terrorism research, see Yildirim andÖcal (2013),Bennell and Corey (2007),), Sui (2008,Shroder (2005), andFindley and Young (2012).Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved. ...
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Suicide attacks have been widely used by many terrorist groups since the 1980s. It cannot be ignored that Al-Qaeda has played a role in diffusing this tactic, in particular among groups that have links with Al-Qaeda. However, the decision to adopt an innovative tactic is not without risk. Its implementation may inspire potential supporters, but may also cause a backlash from government and alienation from those whose support the group may be seeking. Thus, in their decision-making, it is crucial that terrorist groups learn the repercussions of their decision to adopt such tactics. In so doing, examination of the success or otherwise of other groups that adopt an innovation and its results can provide evidence for the predictability of their decision. This research argues that terrorist groups tend to learn and be influenced more by nearby groups due to the similarity of their environment of operation. The estimation is conducted through the logit model with the original terrorist group location dataset and the findings indicate that the influence of an Al-Qaeda link in adopting the tactics of suicide attack is larger when they are geographically close.
... The applications of geographically oriented modeling, in the domain of terrorism, is a relatively recent trend, and the work of spatial and temporal analysis of terrorist attacks is becoming increasingly important in the literature. Several studies have employed spatial and temporal analysis to terrorism events in Afghanistan (Open Source Center [OSC] 2009;Shroder 2005;Beck 2003), Iraq (Medina et al. 2011;Siebeneck et al. 2009;Johnson and Braithwaite 2009), Israel (Berrebi and Lakdawalla 2007;Brown et al. 2004), the United States (Webb andCutter 2009), Spain (LaFree et al. 2011), and Turkey (Rusnak et al. 2012;Demirci and Suen 2007). ...
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This chapter is a review of adverse events throughout the war in Afghanistan by representing the mapping of these events. Three types of adverse events were considered in terms of the number of people killed, wounded, and hijacked and their total number in the active war theater of Afghanistan over the period of 2004–2010. For the purpose of understanding the patterns of adverse events, the results can be summarized by visualizing the occurrence of incidents by region; the emphasis was on analyzing the number of people killed, wounded, and hijacked to determine the risk of different parts of Afghanistan.
... The applications of geographically oriented modeling, in the domain of terrorism, is a relatively recent trend, and the work of spatial and temporal analysis of terrorist attacks is becoming increasingly important in the literature. Several studies have employed spatial and temporal analysis to terrorism events in Afghanistan (Open Source Center [OSC] 2009;Shroder 2005;Beck 2003), Iraq (Medina et al. 2011;Siebeneck et al. 2009;Johnson and Braithwaite 2009), Israel (Berrebi and Lakdawalla 2007;Brown et al. 2004), the United States (Webb andCutter 2009), Spain (LaFree et al. 2011), and Turkey (Rusnak et al. 2012;Demirci and Suen 2007). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter is a review of adverse events throughout the war in Afghanistan by representing the mapping of these events. Three types of adverse events were considered in terms of the number of people killed, wounded, and hijacked and their total number in the active war theater of Afghanistan over the period of 2004–2010. For the purpose of understanding the patterns of adverse events, the results can be summarized by visualizing the occurrence of incidents by region; the emphasis was on analyzing the number of people killed, wounded, and hijacked to determine the risk of different parts of Afghanistan.
... The applications of geographically-oriented modeling, in the domain of terrorism, is a relatively recent trend, and the work of spatial and temporal analysis of terrorist attacks is becoming increasingly important in the literature. Several studies have employed spatial and temporal analysis to analyze terrorism events in Afghanistan (Open Source Center (OSC) 2009;Shroder 2005;Beck 2003), Iraq (Medina et al. 2011;Johnson and Braithwaite 2009;Siebeneck et al. 2009), Israil (Berrebi and Lakdawalla 2007;Brown et al. 2004), the U.S. (Webb andCutter 2009), Spain (LaFree et al. 2012), and Turkey (Rusnak et al. 2012;Demirci and Suen 2007). ...
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This study presents an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) approach performed to estimate the number of adverse events where the dependent variables are adverse events leading to four types of variables: number of people killed, wounded, hijacked and total number of adverse events. Fourteen infrastructure development projects were selected based on allocated budgets values at different time periods, population density, and previous month adverse event numbers selected as independent variables. Firstly, number of independent variables was reduced by using ANFIS input selection approach. Then, several ANFIS models were performed and investigated for Afghanistan and the whole country divided into seven regions for analysis purposes. Performances of models were assessed and compared based on the mean absolute errors. The difference between observed and estimated value was also calculated within ±1±1 range with values around 90 %. We included multiple linear regression (MLR) model results to assess the predictive power of the ANFIS approach, in comparison to a traditional statistical approach. When the model accuracy was calculated according to the performance metrics, ANFIS showed greater predictive accuracy than MLR analysis, as indicated by experimental results. As a result of this study, we conclude that ANFIS is able to estimate the occurrence of adverse events according to economical infrastructure development project data.
... O'Loughlin (2005) raises several issues in response to Beck (2003), expressing concern about problems of replication, classified research, and violating value neutrality in research dealing with terrorism. Both articles were highly publicized through the premier journal, The Professional Geographer (PG), as were subsequent related articles by Beck (2005) in response to O'Loughlin (2005) and Shroder (2005) who provided additional commentary surrounding the issue of replication of classified research and violations of value neutrality. It is an issue that remains unresolved and has serious ramifications for the future research by geographers on the subject. ...
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https://etd.ohiolink.edu/pg_10?0::NO:10:P10_ACCESSION_NUM:osu1186577047 Terrorism is a world-wide multi-dimensional problem that appears at many scales. Many aspects of terrorism have been studied extensively; however, the geographic and spatial component of terrorism has received little attention by researchers. The aims of this research are to evaluate definitions of terrorism and demonstrate how geographic scale within the definition of terrorism provides a clearer distinction between terrorism from other forms of violence, conduct a vulnerability analysis through the methods presented by the hazard research paradigm, survey the general population and create a perceived risk profile, and evaluate the effectiveness of the geographic scale at which the Homeland Security Advisory System operates. The results demonstrate ways in which geovisualization of terrorism using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be achieved for both anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism activities. Realized (real) and perception-based approaches are taken to understanding vulnerability and risk issues in a regional study of Columbus, Ohio through geographic visualization. GEOVISUALIZING TERROR: THE GEOGRAPHY OF TERRORISM THREAT IN THE UNITED STATES. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267203122_GEOVISUALIZING_TERROR_THE_GEOGRAPHY_OF_TERRORISM_THREAT_IN_THE_UNITED_STATES [accessed Feb 01 2018].
... Our study uses a spatial lens and a disaggregated approach to investigate the patterns of conflict that characterize the meeting of these two "new wars." Unlike Beck (2003) and Shroeder (2005) in their accounts of their research on the "war on terror" front in Afghanistan, we provide full disclosure of our data (geolocated violent events) and methods (GIS, remote sensing, and geostatistical) in line with O'Loughlin's (2005b) call for transparency and disclosure in academic work. ...
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A team of political geographers analyzes over 5,000 violent events collected from media reports for the Afghanistan and Pakistan conflicts during 2008 and 2009. The violent events are geocoded to precise locations and the authors employ an exploratory spatial data analysis approach to examine the recent dynamics of the wars. By mapping the violence and examining its temporal dimensions, the authors explain its diffusion from traditional foci along the border between the two countries. While violence is still overwhelmingly concentrated in the Pashtun regions in both countries, recent policy shifts by the American and Pakistani gov-ernments in the conduct of the war are reflected in a sizeable increase in overall violence and its geographic spread to key cities. The authors identify and map the clusters (hotspots) of con-flict where the violence is significantly higher than expected and examine their shifts over the two-year period. Special attention is paid to the targeting strategy of drone missile strikes and the increase in their number and geographic extent by the Obama administration. Journal of Economic Literature, Classification Numbers: H560, H770, O180. 15 figures, 1 table, 113 ref-erences.
... These image time series can provide a fast (near real-time, MODIS products are available about two weeks after acquisition) overview of changes on the surface. Some authors have shown the power of remote sensing and GIS as counter-terrorism tools to identify certain regions with terroristic activities (Beck 2003, Shroder, 2005 ). This paper, however, focuses on a larger perspective and the longterm consequences of drought and war in Afghanistan. ...
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War and resulting institutional changes can be important drivers of land use and land cover change. We explore how war, its consequences, and drought have affected the land surface phenology (LSP) of Afghanistan. Afghanistan offers a unique case of a semi-arid country with multiple institutional changes during the past two decades. Long image time series are able to characterize the seasonal development of Afghanistan's vegetated land surface. We apply a statistical framework to four governance periods and compare the average AVHRR NDVI 8 km data across periods, and calculate trends within study periods. We focus on significant changes in LSP in the region around Qandahar. Finally, we assess changes in LSP between 2001 (a drought year) and 2003 (a year with sufficient precipitation) using MODIS NDVI 1km data. Results reveal the strengths and limitations of LSP modeling in an environment characterized by high interannual and spatial variability as well as by socio-economic turbulence.
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The analysis of contemporary terrorism and related policy prescriptions both suffer from a lack of geographical understanding. This short article engages terrorist studies by outlining: (1) the importance of geohistorical context in understanding the causes of contemporary terrorism, especially the role of the United States as hegemonic power; (2) the spatiality of terrorist networks; and (3) the potentially negative efficacy of existing counterterrorist policies given the interaction of terrorist networks and state sovereignty. Finally, a call is made for comparative studies of terrorism and greater interaction between political geography and peace and conflict studies.
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